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Formula 1 United States GP

COTA: F1 and MotoGP double-header possible but not probable

Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein has welcomed Liberty Media's purchase of MotoGP, but thinks a double-header with Formula 1 is 'possible but not probable'.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, the rest of the field at the start

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Earlier this month it was announced that Liberty Media, the American entertainment company which also owns F1, acquired a 86% stake in Dorna Sports, valuing the MotoGP, WorldSBK and MotoE promoter at €4.2 billion.

It revived the idea of the two championships experimenting with a joint weekend, which according to Dorna sporting director Carlos Ezpeleta was "not discarded" but not actively worked on either.

COTA chairman Epstein, whose circuit hosted last week's eventful Grand Prix of the Americas and welcomes F1 in October, believes a double-header with both series would be possible but faces several stumbling blocks.

"I think there are complications beyond the obvious," Epstein told selected media, including Autosport.

"The first ones that come to mind are just the physical ones, but from a sponsor activation standpoint they both bring different sponsors, different activations and manufacturers, that we would be bulging at the seams.

"And also, you'd have to do a lot of changeover of track signage. The media centre would bulge a little bit at the seams. It's possible, I don't know that it's probable."

But amid struggles to expand MotoGP's fanbase in North America, Epstein welcomed Liberty's arrival with open arms, saying his circuit will be "one of the biggest beneficiaries".

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 leads start

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 leads start

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

"We're excited by it probably more than anybody," he explained. "MotoGP has come to the US and really not had a whole lot of attention paid to it. And once they leave, that's all you hear for about another 51 weeks.

"So this is a fantastic thing to have us be the only sort of flag bearer of MotoGP in the US and to give support to that series that we've had 12 years of commitment to, and really believe in.

"It's a fantastic competition and it's just waiting for more people to discover it. I hope we're one of the biggest beneficiaries of that purchase.

"I don't think they have to change the sport at all. They just have to focus on shedding a little more light on it, giving it visibility. They've got the channels and the ability."

On Thursday, COTA announced a deal whereby early bird ticket holders for October's F1 grand prix can re-sell their weekend general admission tickets back to the circuit for a profit, which runs until after the circuit unveils its music line-up on 29 April.

"We sold more than 10,000 GA tickets at a price of $299 and we're going to offer to buy back their tickets at $350," Epstein explained.

"When we announce our performers, those tickets are going to be worth well more than then they paid.

"We're going to put a limited amount of tickets on sale again, after the music announcement, at a little bit higher price.

"We want to show there's value in our tickets and I think it's a strong statement."

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